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PG&E Proposes Huge EV Charger Network

February 9, 2015 in EVs, Infrastructure by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Utility Would Install 25,000 Level II Stations, Starting in 2017

San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric has disclosed plans to deploy 25,000 Level II electric vehicle chargers, plus 100 DC fast chargers, as part of a five-year, roughly $650 million ratepayer-backed program commencing in 2017. updated February 11

San Francisco-based PG&E wants to install 25,000 Level II chargers across its northern California service area.

San Francisco-based PG&E wants to install 25,000 Level II chargers across its northern California service area.

The utility’s stated goal is to help boost the number of EV drivers and thus help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

PG&E filed an application for the initiative with the California Public Utilities Commission this morning. PG&E hopes for a “speedy approval,” allowing it to commence the installation of chargers in 2017 and continue for five years.

‘Inputs From All Market Players’

“We plan on going through a competitive process and soliciting inputs from all market players,” PG&E electric vehicles director James Ellis told reporters. A solicitation will likely appear next year.

The 25,000 chargers will account for an estimated quarter of the estimated 100,000 units needed to support the state’s GHG reduction plan by 2020, PG&E says. “We’re leaving the rest of the 75% to other market companies,” Ellis said.

The program would increase the number of chargers in the PG&E service area eight-fold.

Costs to ‘Be Shared By All Electric Customers’

According to the CPUC filing, “PG&E estimates that it will incur capital costs of $551 million and operating expenses of $103 million over the approximate five-year term of its EV program. PG&E requests that the Commission authorize PG&E to collect an annual revenue requirement to recover these costs. The peak revenue requirement is projected to be $103 million in 2020.”

“The cost of PG&E’s plan, if approved, would be shared by all electric customers as a contribution to helping the state meet its clean air and climate goals,” states the Monday announcement.

Click image for PG&E summary of its proposed EV charger build-out, and a video.

Click image for PG&E summary of its proposed EV charger build-out, and a video.

‘A Vital Step’

“We want to be able to drive the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles,” said Laurie Giammona, senior VP and chief customer officer. “Electric vehicles are a vital step toward a more secure energy future.”

“We have to get many many many more vehicles on the market,” said Ellis. “It’s going to take some investment and it’s going to take everyone working together.”

The new chargers, PG&E says are to be located at commercial and public locations, including multi-family dwellings, retail centers, and workplaces. Approximately 10% would be installed to support disadvantaged communities. PG&E further pledges to provide tools and educational materials for site hosts and customers to learn about the benefits of electric vehicles.

‘No Cost to the Site Host’

The new chargers are to be provided “at no cost to the site host.

“PG&E proposes to own all of the infrastructure, but contract with third parties to build, install and maintain the chargers and manage customer billing,” states the program announcement. A service provider would buy the electricity at a commercial rate and sell it to EV drivers making use of the PG&E network. Prices are likely to vary according to time of day, but will be the same across the network.

The utility further notes that more than 60,000 plug-in electric vehicles are currently registered in its service area, representing more than a fifth of all EVs in the United States.

Effect on Rates

All of the 25,000 stations PG&E proposes to build would have Level 2 chargers, which provide up to 25 miles of range for every hour of charging. To support travel between metropolitan areas, PG&E would also install 100 DC fast chargers, which can recharge an EV’s battery in only 30 minutes.

PG&E wants to make it easier for drivers of such cars as this Nissan Leaf in San Francisco to charge.

PG&E wants to make it easier for drivers of cars such as this Nissan Leaf in San Francisco to charge.

“The total impact on system average bundled rates would be minimal in 2016 and 2017 and would average only a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour over the next five years of the program,” PG&E says. “A typical residential customer would pay about 70 cents more per month over the period 2018 to 2022.”

PG&E says that it’s “a strong supporter of transportation electrification for a cleaner environment,” with “more than 1,200 electric-base vehicles in its fleet.”

ChargePoint Disagrees, Strongly

ChargePoint, which recently won a major contact for an EV charger network with Kansas City Power & Light (F&F, January 26), blasted the PG&E plan.

“ChargePoint has been successful because it supports flexibility for the site owner to decide what pricing and features are best for them to attract the EV driving public,” CEO Pasquale Romano said in a release. “ChargePoint prides itself in providing the features required by EV drivers for a seamless driving and charging experience.”

Utilities, ChargePoint maintains, should limit themselves to installing needed infrastructure.

“PG&E’s proposal will hamper the industry, is bad for ratepayers, bad for EV drivers and bad for California’s emissions reduction goals,” Romano said.

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Source: Pacific Gas & Electric with Fleets & Fuels follow-up




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